Pumpkin Sourdough Waffles (& baseball)

It’s not news around these parts that I listen to podcasts. Most of them related to Gilmore Girls or true crime.

Pumpkin Sourdough Waffles

However, sometimes I listen to ones that are as inspiring and they are humorous, as insightful as they are heinous. One such podcast was Off Camera with Sam Jones, the episode featured Jason Isbell. I listened to it months ago – in early spring – walking Edgar along the damp sidewalk in the morning mist.

Pumpkin Sourdough Waffles

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Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries (& a Thanksgiving Menu)

This is better than I thought it would be. Truly, when I went to put together suggestions for this year’s festivities I thought it would be slim pickings. That there wouldn’t be much to choose from because I hadn’t gotten up nearly as many posts as planned. I’d been behind, slacking, negligent about my duties and responsibilities. Turns out, that wasn’t (entirely) the case. It’s rewarding to look back on the year and see what’s been accomplished. I got more up than I planned! And a lot of it would fit nicely on the Thanksgiving table, if there’s still room.

Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries

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Maple & Vanilla Bean Granola (& envy)

When I met Jen, I didn’t like her.

Maple & Vanilla Bean Granola

Not actually. But I didn’t like how she made me feel. Behind, inexperienced, and so uncool it was painful. Of course, this had nothing to do with her or her actions towards me, and everything to do with myself. And my insecurities. It was a new job, I was still unhappy in SC, everyone else in that kitchen knew the rhythm and how things worked. How they worked. I didn’t. And it killed me not knowing.

There were inside jokes I wasn’t a part of, techniques I’d never heard of before, a storage system in the fridge that was entirely new to me. Next to her – tall, blonde, round blue eyes behind the hippest glasses – I felt as if I could bathe in a thimble. And often wanted to hide under one during my shifts.

Maple & Vanilla Bean Granola

My dislike for her was solidified the day she showed me how to make gnocchi (something I’d never done before, phony food connoisseur that I was). Her technique was simple and quick and almost effortless. She was as fluid as the water simmering between us. I was green with envy at her abilities. During conversation, I found out she was a few years younger than me and turned the deepest shade of forest. I felt so behind, she seemed so ahead.

Maple & Vanilla Bean Granola

And then, one day, she messed up. She left granola in the oven too long. Way too long. It was burnt. Charred. Inedible. She’d ruined a dish.

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Vacation Eats – SC Edition

I swear, I tried. I really did. I hauled my camera all the way to SC with every intention of being that annoying person in a restaurant setting up shots and climbing on chairs. But, that didn’t happen. I was too busy enjoying my time with Seth and too self-conscious to really commit to the full “foodie” (ugh, hate that title) obnoxiousness.

Garden Table Green Juice

So, my iphone photos will just have to do. Here’s a partial list of the places we went and the foods we ate on our trip. Mostly in Greenville, and a few fantastic places along the way. After today, I’m officially back to work and things will return to normal around here. For better or for worse.

In GVL

GB&D

Obviously. We got lunch here on our first full day in town and then had an amazing dinner our second to last night (all courses specially prepared by Alex, god bless him). The burger is a must (get a side of burger sauce to go with your fries) and dinner is exceptional – especially dessert! Jen took over the duties when I left and she’s doing a better job than I ever could. We stopped by the morning before we left and she gifted me lemon pound cake with fresh strawberry ice cream.

Golden Brown & Delicious Burger

The Village Grind

Right across the street from GB&D (and owned by the Alex’s sister), we stopped here every morning for a jolt. The space is gorgeous and the friendly faces are even moreso. Plus, they put up with my tedious request of things being “half-caff” (I’m the worst).

Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery

Another place I used to work! Purveyors of local produce and some of the best scones around. Seth was a huge fan of their stecca (a sort of freeform, Italian baguette). We stocked up on local honey and kombucha before hitting the road. Plus, my former employer, Mary, took this lovely shot of Seth and I ❤

Breakfast Sandwich

Tandem

Technically in Travelers Rest, this is one of my absolute favorite breakfast places in all the land! Sweet and savory crepes that are just the ticket after a bottle and a half of wine the night before. Or so I’ve heard.

Pita House

Oh, Pita House, how do I love thee? There’s no better place to get lunch. It’s both affordable and flavorful and the staff are some of the friendliest around. Plus, they make a tahini salad that makes me forget I don’t really like tahini. I’ll say one last thing: BAKLAVA.

Pita House, Greenville SC

The Kennedy, Spartanburg SC

My cousin Maria has started working here recently and while I can’t attest to anything but the deliciousness of their burnt chocolate spoon bread (omg) and the intricacies of their cocktails, the ambiance and décor alone make me want to return!

The Kennedy, Spartanburg SC

In AVL

12 Bones Smokehouse

We were only spending one afternoon in Asheville and I knew we had to lunch here! It had been over two years since I’d had their ribs and truly, they were better than I remembered. I got a half rack of blueberry bbq basted and a half rack of Cheerwine bbq basted. With mac n cheese and a big ol’ slice of cornbread on the side, naturally.

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Summit Coffee Co.

Literally 100 yards from 12 Bones, Seth and I found this amazing coffee shop filled with local artwork and fresh brewed drip coffee that gave us enough energy to finish the final leg of our journey. (Truly, the amount of coffee we consumed on this trip was astounding.)

Summit Coffee Co., Asheville NC

And the rest

Stock & Barrel, Knoxville TN

We made it a point to stop at local, non-fast food places while driving and I’m glad we did! We pulled into Knox jonesing for a burger and ended up finding a really good one here. There happened to be a Vols game at the same time so downtown was packed. But, we were blessed with a parking spot and snagged the last table on the patio. Sure, we had to keep our coats and hats on and my red wine was inadvertently served chilled, but any place I can get onion strings on a burger is good in my book.

Stock & Barrel, Knoxville TN

Munster Donuts, Munster IN

Open 24/7, this place is slinging doonies left, right, and center. The flavors are simple staples but done oh-so-well.  And all less than $1 each!

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Quills Coffee, Indianapolis IN

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Quills from Em over at Today’s Letters so I was over the moon when I found out there was a location within walking distance from our AirBnb. We got there right when it opened and once again the barista put up with my difficulty/decaf nonsense. Plus, they had whole bean decaf for me to take home and an adorable astronaut cat mural across the alleyway.

Quills Coffee, Indy IN

Garden Table, Indianapolis IN

When I worked at a place that did brunch, I was always envious of people who got to have brunch. We more than made up for it on our way back home at Garden Table. Local fare, the freshest (and softest) bread, super quick and friendly service, cold-pressed juices. This place had it all! And it was all presented in the hippest/chicest/trendiest setting. Plus, I had my first oat milk latte and it was a treat! I’m a convert!

Turn-key Sandwich, Garden Table Indy, IN

Until the next time we travel (which will be Europe in March, omg)!

Cheesy Grit Breakfast Bowls

Museums are boring.

Cheesy Grit Breakfast Bowls

There, I said it.

When I’m visiting somewhere – either totally new or a place I used to call home – the last thing I want to do is be stuck in a giant building full of hallways staring at things I can’t touch or taste or buy.

I realize this may make me sound like an uneducated, classless plebian…well then, ok.

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